Advertising art doesn’t leave you as much freedom as these illustrations I’m doing for myself or for “Metropoli”. Once in a while you get an assignment where lots of minds are involved, and it is kind of frustrating, because of conflicting messages. But I think the client knows what they want better than you do, and the final result is usually very pleasing.
As a caricature artist, your illustrations always portray a vivid message. How do you go about creating a piece? Do you inject personal opinion in commercial work?
When I’m doing an illustration for someone’s point of view I have to make sure that the viewer of the art is seeing what the article is expressing with words. But you always tend to show a little of your personal views in the final illustration. In commercial work, advertising, I just try to capture the message the client wants to transmit.
Which among your illustrations is your favorite? Why? How did you come up with it?
My favorite illustrations are the ones were I was reaching a point that I didn’t know I could reach. I remember an illustration I did for The Miami Herald about censorship in Britain, for which I did a lion with a crown with a flag binding its mouth. When doing that, I remember the adrenaline flowing. It was as if I was discovering new worlds and new civilizations as they
say in Star Trek, going where no one has gone before. Ha, ha! Of course it wasn’t that, but what a great feeling. Lately I’m enjoying those large animal illustrations because each of
them is a different exploration of the possibilities of scratchboard.
What are 5 tips you can give to other illustrators that are just starting in the industry?
Develop a personal technique, something that makes your work stand out from others; Work on the sketch thinking that in it lies a great drawing. There are schools of illustration and comics and commercial art, but the best way to learn is looking at the work of the great artists around you and from the past. Spend lots of time developing a concept that is different and that it hasn’t been done before. This is hard, and sometimes impossible, but you can try. Looking at the ILLUSTRATORS annual is very inspiring, but NEVER steal the ideas of other artists.
Over the last years you have been dedicated to your style of illustrations, what do you think about this media and what can we expect from you in the future?
I used to keep an archive of visual information for the illustrations. Now with Google you can get any image you want really fast. Web pages, apps, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. are wonderful tools to have. But the artist has to try to use these tools to create a personal atmosphere. I work on paper or scratchboard, but I know most artists nowadays are using computers to do the final art. That’s fine, but make sure you keep it different from others.